I wake up to the news that Will Smith and Diplo have made the official World Cup song for Russia 2018. Following in the footsteps of Anastacia, Ricky Martin and Pitbull (though, to be fair, Pitbull has featured on every song recorded since April 2007).
And it makes me very excited about the World Cup. Because the World Cup might be about the summer, getting to watch four football games in a day and endless, grinding, inevitable disappointment. But it is also really about ridiculous pop songs.
Think about it: all your World Cup memories are tied up in these songs. Yes, I know ‘Three Lions’ and ‘World In Motion’ are the ones we all remember, but I can never get ‘We’re On The Ball’ by Ant and Dec out of my head whenever I picture 2002 and Beckham’s penalty against Argentina.
As you start to think about it your mind starts playing tricks – did Dizzee Rascal and James Corden really record a song together? Did Embrace – not even 90s heyday Embrace, but 2006 Embrace – really do our song? And remember when the Spice Girls and Echo and the Bunnymen inexplicably worked together? When else would that happen?
And for every ‘Nessun Dorma’ and John Barnes singing “Beat the man, Take him on, You never give up, It’s one on one”, there are the classic, clichéd players looking uncomfortable as they stand in the studio together, one hand on their headphones, as they tone-deafly shout their way through a chorus that involves the words ‘football’, ‘world’, ‘feet’ and ‘kick’. And I love them all.
England’s song for 1982 was called ‘This Time (We’ll Get It Right)’, a song title so brilliantly, terribly, apologetically English that it should have remained our song for the rest of time.
But really, I can feel it lads. This time. This time we will get it right.